“Wisconsin Death Trip” is the first studio album of Static-X that came out in 1999 and helped the band gain the following of industrial rhythmic metal fans. In 2014 Static-X leader Wayne Static (Wayne Richard Wells) tragically passed away which shocked and saddened their fans and followers. This year due to high demand and 20th anniversary of their first record the original members of Static-X – Tony Campos, Koichi Fukuda and Ken Jay – decided to go to tour with a help of a nameless guest vocalist (named Xer0 on their Wiki page). This autumn they are also visiting the UK together with three other bands that also gained their loyal fan bases back in early 2000’s – Soil, Dope and Wednesday 13.
To give enough time to all four bands the concert started unusually early – at 6pm. First on stage came Dope. The set list was short but extremely satisfying as they played their most successful tunes such as “Die MF Die”, “I’m back” and cover version of Dead or alives’ “You spin me round (like a record)”. The band – Edsel Dope, Chris Warner, Andre ‘Virus’ Karkos and Daniel Fox – interacted with the audience sharing their excitement of being a part of the tour, how unusual it is for them to perform this early and how f-up America and the whole world currently are. The whole performance was professional, energetic and showed that Dope is still going strong.
Next performed Wednesday 13 together with Roman Surman, Jack Tankersley, Troy Doebbler and Kyle Castronovo. All band members were wearing gothic/horror/vampire-like make up. Vocalist’s skin was all covered in black paint that perfectly suited a number of different costumes that he was changing during their performance. Music and entourage took the whole tone of the concert to a different level making it more theatrical and unpredictable. Towards the end of their set all of the band members were covered in neon pain that contrasted with low light and their gothic appearance. During their last song “I love to say F–k” Wednesday performed topless with an umbrella that flipped everyone off. With their performance Wednesday 13 created one of the most visually interesting shows to this day.
The third band to perform was Soil – Ryan McCombs, Adam Zadel, Tim King and T.J. Taylor – with energetic, deep, heavy songs. The band also interacted with people in the audience, mentioned Wayne Static and gave inspiring speech of how “Everything starts with YOU, and everything ends with YOU”. While performing “Halo”, the last song of their set and at the same time their most well-known single, Ryan joined the audience and his dancing fans in the middle of the pit with his old school mic. After Soil left the stage people were still buzzing as many of them did not expect to be this close to the vocalist.
And last but not least it was time for Static-X to come on stage. Pictures of all four original members, including Wayne, were appearing on the screen emphasising that their performance is a big tribute in honour of their lost brother. From the first song “Bled for days”, to the middle of the performance during a short pause when a tribute to Wayne Static with his picture appeared on the screen, right until the very last song “Push it”, every corner of Stylus was filled with dancing people. Mysterious anonymous vocalist perfectly suited the band’s aesthetics with a mask and Wayne’s iconic hairstyle and similar singing style. All four members were full of infectious energy. It was a memorable performance filled with nostalgia, excitement and heavy industrial rhythm. The fact that fans of Static-X are still asking for the band to perform shows that the band has a uniqueness that is hard to find even nowadays. And their decision to tour with three other rare-to-see bands is a true gift to all music lovers.
R.I.P. Wayne Static – 1965-2014
All photos taken by Alina Salihbekova https://www.instagram.com/asalihbekova/